College of Family and Consumer Sciences Records

Identity elements

Reference code

UA 009

Level of description



College of Family and Consumer Sciences Records


  • 1884-2008 (Creation)


3.42 linear feet [3 record boxes, 1 flip top document case]

Name of creator

Administrative history

South Dakota State College was one of the first five land-grant institutions to have a formal department of Home Economics. Called Domestic Economy at its start in 1885, the four-year curriculum offered scientific training and a liberal and practical education for young women. In addition, the program purported to prepare young women for the important position of caring for the home. / By the late 1920's, many changes had occurred in the department. The name had changed to Home Economics in 1915, shortly after passage of the Smith-Lever Act. This act, along with the Smith-Hughes Act of 1917, called for land-grant universities to expand their services to the people of the states. Through programs in extension and education, which developed as a result of these two acts, Home Economics evolved into a much larger program. Enrollment grew as traditional classes in food, nutrition, clothing, and design were augmented by practical work in home management and the nursery school. By the close of the 1920s, many graduates had been placed as teachers in the public-school system, which helped expand the department's influence in the state. / Little change occurred in the division until a new department, Child Development opened in 1945. The following year an additional department, Technical Journalism, was added to the Home Economics Division. Graduate courses were offered beginning in 1952, and in 1962, when South Dakota State College became South Dakota State University, the Home Economics Division became the College of Home Economics. / Over the next two decades, the college continued to evolve. In 1975, a core curriculum was developed for home economics, and in 1981, a specialized program was established to meet the needs of students in their careers in home economics education, extension, family, welfare and interior design. In 1994, the College of Home Economics became the College of Family and Consumer Sciences due to a nation-wide change brought on by a survey conducted by the American Home Economics Association. / The College of Family and Consumer Sciences prepares people for a variety of professional roles, which are interdisciplinary in nature. Some majors within the College are directly related to the family and its traditional functions, such as human development and family studies. With these majors, graduates are primarily prepared for careers in social service, community or government agencies, or business. Other majors are derived from functions that were traditionally performed by the family but now are often carried out by business and industry. Hotel, restaurant and institution management, apparel merchandising and interior design are examples of these majors. / General programs in the College prepare graduates for employment in formal and non-formal education, and community service. All programs in the College focus on the interactions of family and their environment.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection is composed of academic materials, clippings and releases, history material, photographs, scrapbooks and reports. The academic material deals mainly with the establishment of a core curriculum within the College. The clippings and releases are newspaper clippings and news releases about the college. The history material is a compilation of historical material and alumni memories of the College of Home Economics. Also included is correspondence, building plans, and lists of outstanding graduates.
The photographs include many miscellaneous photographs documenting the history of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences that were found loose in the collection or from dismantled scrapbooks.
The photographs from the scrapbooks pertain to deans, research, education, nutrition and food science, and textiles, clothing and interior design.

The reports are composed mainly of annual reports to the president of the university and some federal reports to the U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare.

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Conditions governing access

This collection is open to researchers without restrictions. The materials in the Archives do not circulate and may be used in-house only.
Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

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South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

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Alternative identifier(s)




UA 9

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